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Photographer's Note

No points, Please. This is dedicated to all who have to flee their homeland.

This is not an average post if you’re not willing to read the note, I recommend that you don’t leave any comment or critique. And for the TE moderator, this is not an average personal photo, read it before you decided to delete it. This is just a small part of my own history but many people from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the late 1970’s and early 80’s had gone through similar life altering situation and shared similar experience and many of them did not end with a happy ending like mine.

March 1980, after two days of long journey, risking our lives, escaping from Laos which was under the Communist at the time, we finally reach our safe heaven, the refugee camp in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. Once inside the camp, we no longer had to be afraid of being captured and sent back to Laos, which would be a death sentence. We had seen and heard enough about people who were sent back trying to escape, some got put in jail and soon died, those who last were sent to penitentiary camp and never heard from again.

Once inside the refugee camp, we registered with the refugee headquarter, and get our ID # assigned, have our pictures taken, and the next step would be to decide if we wanted to apply for immigration to the countries that accept refugees. Our first choice of destination was France. We applied and waited for two years, living in the refugee camp. After such long wait, my father decided that we would try applying to go to the U.S. and it happened within one year. We were moved around to other camps to study English for another 6 months. Get our health inspected by doctors for any contagious decease, TB…, we prayed that none of us has any illness that will prevent us from being accepted. Everyday I went to look at the announcement board for our #T-155671 as show in the photo, to see if our # were posted so that we should prepare to leave in one week. Finally, December 18, 1983, we were picked up at 4:00 a.m. by a bus along with a few other families heading to Bangkok International Airport. Sitting on a Northwest 747, as the air plan take off, I looked out the window to look at the view, my vision went blur, tears of joy, tear of sadness, and tear for fear, fear of the uncertain future in a new country, As I left my past, going into the future on the speed of a 747 air craft.

My “future” as I mentioned turned out very good because I am here sharing with you this part of my life. I know just how fortunate I am. I have travelled to many places around the world. I even have the privilege to return to my homeland which I didn’t think was possible in this lifetime.

I found this head shots in my mother’s room a couple of years ago after she passed away, which bring back much memories of what make me who I am today. I took a picture of them and put the original photos in a safe so they won’t fade away.

An advance and sincere thank you for reading this lengthy note and all your kind words.

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Additional Photos by Way Lim (Waylim) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2732 W: 154 N: 6183] (25436)
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